Turn your attention this week to unforgettable voices, via Miguel, Hop Along’s Frances Quinlan, and MNEK. Also, beachy songs, via Beach Baby and Best Coast. Let’s go.
Disclosure — “Bang That”
Just in time for the summer, the Lawrence brothers of Disclosure show how to do a big, dumb EDM banger in a smart, stylish way. I wouldn’t want a whole album’s worth of this kind of thing in lieu of Disclosure’s infectious take on house music, but this song’s ability to make you need to move cannot be understated.
Hop Along — “Happy to See Me”
Hop Along singer Frances Quinlan’s voice has the ability to knock you dead with every little sandpaper catch of her throat. It’s part of what makes “Happy to See Me,” the sparsest track off the Philly rockers’ must-hear third album Painted Shut (out this week), so engrossing: for the first couple minutes of the song, Quinlan abstains from that rough magic, instead making her voice sound as lily sweet as possible atop an aggressively strummed acoustic guitar. But then in creeps the ragged edge, and holy shit, it’s go-time. I would listen to Frances Quinlan sing anything, including an angry comments section.
Beach Baby — “No Mind No Money”
Beach Baby is a London band with a dumb name and three solid songs. I’m not sure where that leaves them exactly, but I do know that their new one about the highs and lows of being young, “No Mind No Money,” is something I can see myself playing on repeat in the coming weeks. At first the super sunny/slightly sour guitar strum and bursts of falsetto vocals sounds like a Mac DeMarco song, but thankfully, “No Mind No Money” veers a little toward post-punk before it’s all said and done.
Miguel — “Coffee” ft. Wale
Miguel’s “Coffee” has made this column before, when he first released it on his surprise EP at the end of last year, but the production and instrumentation on this new, Princed-the-hell-up version are both more entrancing. Wale manages not to gross it up too much despite shouting-out morning wood and 50 Shades, but really, it would be hard to crash the man’s flow when he’s getting so many things right about life-changing romance all at once.
Best Coast — “When Will I Change”
The third Best Coast LP, California Nights, is out this week, and I can’t recommend album cut “When Will I Change” enough, particularly if you’re a fan of The Go-Go’s and/or songs about being frustrated with yourself. (That’s probably a ‘yes’ on both counts if you’re listening to Best Coast in the first place.)
Bonus thing: R&B-house hopeful MNEK covered Cher’s “Believe,” mashing it up a little with Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do” along the way, and the results are both modern and transformative. MNEK’s voice has never sounded more triumphant.